The Andrews Labor Government is urging Victorian farmers to be vigilant about their safety practices as part of National Farm Safety Week.
Five people died as a result of workplace incidents on Victorian farms in the 2018-19 financial year, which tragically included two children.
Another life was lost just days into the new financial year when a 59-year old man died in hospital following an incident that occurred while felling trees on a property at Buxton.
National Farm Safety Week reminds farmers about the things they can do to prioritise safety for themselves, their family and visitors.
Farm safety is a focus for WorkSafe Victoria, with the watchdog conducting more than 2700 farm inspections in the last financial year.
Incidents involving tractors and other machinery were the leading cause of workplace deaths on Victorian farms in 2018-19, prompting renewed calls for farmers to carry out rigorous safety checks and risk assessments.
Farmers are also being urged to always ensure they wear seat belts, and to never hop on or off moving machinery.
WorkSafe is using National Farm Safety Week to educate farmers on the steps they can take to be safe while working alone, like ensuring they have a means of communication or a process for having someone check on them.
The Labor Government is also using National Farm Safety Week to remind farmers about the dangers of quad bikes, as part of a push to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on quad bikes.
Safe Work Australia data shows 15 people died as a result of incidents involving quad bikes nationally last financial year.
The Labor Government rebate to install roll over protection on quad bikes, or to substitute bikes for more terrain appropriate vehicles, remains available through the Victorian Farmers Federation.
For more information about farm safety visit worksafe.vic.gov.au/agriculture
As noted by Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy
“One workplace death is one too many. We need farmers talking to each other about farm safety, so we can make sure everyone comes home safe at the end of the day.”
“It is so important farmers think about the risks involved in everything they do and have a plan in place, not just for themselves but also for their workers and their family.”
As noted by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“We’re working closely with farmers and industry groups to make sure the message of farm safety is a priority.”
“Nobody is more aware of the risks on farms than farmers themselves, and it’s crucial that they take care and follow safety processes to avoid a tragedy.”